The dungeons of Castle Gygar

The party descend to Level 2
....but the monsters are laughing

Stepping north and out of the Western stairway, the party enter a square room with an odd apparatus in the centre. They see a chest in the middle of the floor; above it is suspended one end of a heavy wooden log, the other end placed on the floor. The log is suspended by a rope that runs to the ceiling, through a hook to the wall and from there back to the chest. Following some discussion, Elric decides that the direct approach is the best and unsheathing his blade he slices through the rope. At once the log falls onto the chest smashing it to pieces and scattering the contents.

The good news is that the contents are 500 SP, 50GP and a citrine gem (worth 10GP according to Norri, the resident valuer). Feeling more cheerful the party take the eastern doorway out and step into a room dominated by the stone statue of a Kobold. The statue is clad in leather armour. A conversation then ensues as to how the party can get into the room beyond (containing an assortment of dangers but closed to characters that are lower than level 2) and the party, to the chagrin of the DM, consider whether the statue has any bearing on how the door to the dining hall (room 27 in the original scenario) might be opened.

The party decide to investigate the statue further and tell the DM they want to touch the statue. Norri the dwarf steps forward bravely and puts his hand on it. Immediately the top half of the statue pivots towards Norri and the stone sword clasped in its fist swings murderously close! Luckily Norri successfully passes a saving throw (against wands) and manages to leap aside and out of danger.

Somewhat hilariously (from the DM’s perspective) Teelia the fighter strips the leather armour from the statue to investigate it further! Hmmm, didn’t anticipate that happening…….. This prompts our youngest player to make a pencil drawing of the disrobed statue and the DM is then forced to try some course corrections.

Given some gentle hints, the party decide to retreat back to the stairway and decide to take the stone steps downwards to the lower level of the dungeon. As they descend the steps, they encounter a group of 4 Kobolds heading up the steps in the opposite direction. On a role of a d6 the party are surprised and the creatures get to react first. A reaction roll by the DM is inconclusive and the kobolds hail the party. The characters fence verbally with the kobolds and the DM makes another reaction roll. It appears the kobolds will be friendly after all and they teasingly warn the characters of the dangers that await them below. The two parties pass each other cautiously on the stairs and continue.

At the bottom of the stairs the party enter into a square room with graffiti and drawings daubed on the wall opposite the stairs. Nothing further attracting their notice, they move on to the room to the South (42 on the original map) which is a long chamber with crumbled statues in niches on either side of the wall and a worn stone altar at the southern end. An investigation of the altar shows that it is now being used by kobolds. On the altar rests a stick figure of their god Cygnus on top of a depression containing straw. Underneath the party are thrilled to find 900 SP.

At this point the lure of the TV in the next room proved to be too much for Elric and the session ended there. Oh well! Great danger lies ahead of the party courtesy of the DM’s home-brewed dungeon, using a map supplied in the Mentzer Basic set, but populated entirely by yours truly!

Dungeon Crawl III & IV
Slow and Easy does it

Stepping into a narrow rubbish filled passage, Teelia lifts up her torch and the party see four humanoid figures facing the other side of the passage. They turn as the light hits them and start to lurch towards the party; Zombies! Four of them!

The passage is just wide enough for two characters to fight side by side and Teelia and Elric stand shoulder to shoulder swinging their blades. Four rounds of fighting later four zombies litter the floor. Norrie didn’t take any useful part of the fighting having fallen over at the start of the fight.

The adventurers continue on to a room to the west which used to be a fine bedroom but was now a shabby mouldy shadow of its former self. The party examines a bed with strange carvings etched into the headboard including the carven image of a bright sun rising.There is nothing else apparent from an examination of the room.Leaving out through the east door they come to a room with a stone stairway leading down into the darkness of the second underground level of the castle.

Stepping in to a disordered square room they come across a group of five kobolds looking for intruders to chase out of the castle. The adventurers as veterans now in fighting kobolds make short work of these characters. Beyond that room they come to a small room with the stone statue of a kobold therein. This shows nothing after investigation. The door to the West cannot be forced.

Momentarily baffled, the party trek back through the room containing the relicts of the hapless five kobolds, through the hall containing the stairway and the rather mouldy East bedroom through a rubbish filled hall and into a bedroom on the West side of the central hallway. This room appears to be quite similar in layout to the East bedroom with a rather moldy bed as its centrepiece. As Teelia steps into the room she looks on the bed and finds it looks very inviting….. she is invited to make a saving throw (vs. spells) which she fails and her companions look on in horror as she walks mechanically to the bed and lies down, falling into a deep sleep. Nothing the party do can wake Teelia but the party see that there is a carving on the head-board of the bed which appears to show a crescent moon carved to resemble a sleeping face. After some frenzied discussion and referrals to notes of the East bedroom, they decide to carry Teelia from the room and place her on the bed located in the East bedroom. This has the desired effect and after half an hour Teelia wakes up refreshed and none the worse for wear for her ordeal.

The party return through the hallway into the West bedroom, past the enchanted bed and come to a rectangular room with a fireplace in one corner and a series of stone steps that lead down, down into the darkness…..

Lookout! It's a Zombie!

At the close of the last session, the brave adventurers had withdrawn to a clearing up a wooded slope to the west of Castle Gygar. They stopped for in or about an hour to scoff some rations and rest for a bit. Having re-charged their batteries the party set off with a renewed sense of purpose back down the slope towards Castle Gygar.

Reaching the gap in the outside wall, the party swiftly made their way across the inner courtyard littered with fallen blocks and columns representing the remains of the upper storeys of the castle. Stepping through the entrance doors, the party decide to try their luck by heading east this time. Lighting a torch they enter the east hall and see a room containing little but the remains of some chairs and a table. There is a fireplace in the north wall and Teelia the fighter goes to investigate. Teelia’s searching disturbs a quantity of fallen timbers jammed up the chimney breast and there is a rumble as those timbers are dislodged and fall down the chimney! At this point Teelia makes a saving throw against wands which she passes, luckily for her, and manages to throw herself aside, still losing a hit point in the process. Upon resuming their search of the fireplace, they find a loose brick concealing a silver dagger. As usual, Norri knows a guy……

The party continue to the east passing through an empty doorway into a storage room full of boxes and crates of all sizes and shapes. The party start to search through the boxes. Suddenly, they notice that Simba appears to be unhappy with something and is sniffing at a long box at the bottom of a pile of boxes in the centre of the room. Elric goes to investigate and opens the box. An unpleasant surprise awaits as a Zombie concealed within stands stiffly up and takes a swipe at Elric with his rusty sword!

At the start of this encounter the Zombie gained surprise and consequently had a free swing at Elric. Happily the zombie showed all the clumsiness they are known for and missed completely. Elric called to Teelia asking her to throw her torch to him and she does so freeing up her hands to draw out her two handed sword. Elric successfully passes a dexterity check, catching the thrown torch successfully. Norri unhooks his murderous hand axe and gets ready for action. The zombie swings again and misses.

In the next round, Elric rolls on behalf of himself and Norri and they gain initiative. Teelia is left out of this as she is wielding a two handed sword. Elric connects with the flaming torch doing damage to the unclean fiend who lets out a dismal moan. Norri hits the zombie with his trusty axe severing the creature’s left arm at the shoulder. Yet another dismal moan issues forth. The creature strikes ineffectually and finally Teelia administers the coup the grace striking the Zombie’s head from it’s shoulders. The DM started to imitate the zombie’s moans at that point and was told by Elric’s young player to stop as he was afraid of getting nightmares!

After all that the party are then nonplussed when it proves that the storage room is entirely devoid of anything of value! They press on through the north doorway into a small corridor-like room heading to the west. Holding aloft her torch, Teelia can just about make out the far extreme of the room and there seems to be movement within. Suddenly, the party hear a now familiar sound, “UUUUUH!” This time, however, it is in stereo and four zombies lurch into the torchlight in all their ghastliness.

At this point Teelia had to quit for the evening and the DM was asked to simply “freeze-frame” the action, rather than compel the characters to spend time locating a fresh clearing nearby. The DM agreed but could not stifle a groan that came to his lips, like so; UUUUUUH!

Rejuvenation, retail therapy...and returning
The "Rocky II" comeback

After their bruising encounters with a Carrion Crawler and a large-ish group of Kobolds within the outer wall of the Castle,the party prudently opted to re-trace their steps back to Threshold to re-group. Both player characters had taken hits and Norri the dwarf (non-player character) was near death.

Back in town the party decide to take rooms in the Golden Dragon Inn and stay there for three days allowing all of the party to recover fully (using the Pathfinder rest and recovery rules).Whilst Norri is laid up in the inn, Teelia and Elric go out and attend to some business in town. Firstly, they visit the local loan bank to exchange their two garnets for cash,incurring a 10% transaction fee.Next they pay a visit to the local smith and armourer and trade in their chainmail armour for plate-mail improving their armour class in the process.

A bit of house-keeping is dealt with including division of treasure and awarding XP and the party finally are able to set out again on the morning of the fourth day after their last excursion. The inn-keeper gets up to say farewell and he tells the party that he thinks others may be considering travelling to the castle in search of adventure and that the local temple had reported in the last few days that a cleric called Milo had gone missing.

The party set out and soon reach Castle Gygar. They opt to enter the outer wall through the 10 foot hole in the western portion of the south hall. The characters note that the pile of bodies left at the gateway is gone and that a wide maroon stain leads from the site of the combat to a point some fifty feet away. There is a small mound of charred material which appears to be the remains of the hapless kobolds.

The characters cross the rubble-strewn outer courtyard to the 20 foot outer doors of the castle proper. The first room is uneventful and the party go west through a doorway which at first sight has nothing but minor rubbish in it. The parties search a fireplace in the north wall of the room and Teelia gets attacked by a GIANT BAT that emerges from the chimney.

Both the bat and Teelia miss each other but Elric with a swipe of his sword seriously wounds the creature. At this point the DM carried out a morale check against the giant bat which it failed. The giant bat flapped away through a doorway in the West wall .

The parties decide to go that way as well and find themselves in a storage room full of boxes, with the giant bat perching on top of one of them. They decide to ignore it and the bat does not seem to be eager for a re-match. When they touch a box, they are then puzzled by a disembodied deep voice who asks them if Bargle is with them. Unable to locate the mystery of the voice the party leaves through the north door avoiding the Giant Bat.

The party find themselves in a small narrow room, the only note-worthy feature a hatbox tied with string on the floor in front of them. Teelia decides to take the direct approach and opts to untie the string manually. She does not realise that the string is coated with poison and she immediately must make a saving throw ,which she passes. In the box she discovers an extremely valuable hatpin made of platinum, which they take.

At this point, it was necessary to finish off the session and the parties left the Castle for the purposes of a re-grouping in the wooded hill to the west of the Castle and to eat some rations. The party are looking forward to exploring more of Castle Gygar soon!

Approach to Castle Gygar....and (tactical) retreat
The Story So Far

The campaign started with two relatively short gaming sessions on a short family holiday in picturesque County Sligo on the 9th and 10th April respectively.

The action started in the Golden Dragon Inn in the town of Threshold as the parties drank ale and discussed their upcoming foray to Castle Gygar the following morning. The players had a brief introduction to role-play as they are joined by a mysterious character, too well-dressed for that tavern, who introduced himself as Vicarion, merchant and member of the town council.

Vicarion had heard the rumours that the party intended to travel to Castle Gygar and he wishes them well on their quest. He told them that the ruling council had been urged by the local religious order to deal with the problem of Bargle, a renegade magic-user who had killed one of their number, Aleena the Cleric and taken up residence at the Castle. A reward of 1,000 gold pieces was being offered for his apprehension but he told the party that the council were even more concerned with interference with merchants travelling to and from the region. The party retired for the night (after quaffing the ale Vicarion had bought for them).

The next day they journey to Castle Gygar, Teelia going in front, Elric in the middle and the doughty dwarf, Norri, bringing up the rear. They start to approach the outer walls of Castle Gygar and to an area where the wooden outer doors have been deposited on the ground. The party see some movement under the door and Teelia goes forward to investigate with Norri at her elbow in support. Suddenly, a horrible worm-like creature with eight tentacles around its mouth half emerges from the hole under the doors and attacks Teelia.

Unfortunately for Teelia, she loses initiative automatically as she opts to join combat with her two handed sword and the Carrion Crawler (for that is what it is) gets in all eight attacks first on Teelia. She is unlucky on one and falls to the earth paralysed. Norri tries to sink his axe into the creature and misses. While this is happening, Elric, who had stayed off approximately thirty feet has drawn his longbow and is moving in to get a shot of the creature from the side. He will attack in the next round.

In the next round the creature wins the initiative roll and attacks Norri but luckily misses. Norri engages with his axe but makes a complete mess of things and misses entirely (again). Elric does better and puts and arrow in the creature’s gooey hide. The creature loses 5 of its ten hit points.

In the next round Elric misses in the missile fire phase. The creature attacks Norri but manages to miss. Finally Norri redeems himself and the blade of his hand-axe sinks deep wiping out the rest of the creature’s hit points.

After that, Norri and Elric drag Teelia to safety in a field nearby and she recovers consciousness in half an hour. They return to the Hole under the door and find a quantity of silver and copper coins as well as two garnets.

As they are gathering the treasure they hear a loud thump and see that the inner doors of the gateway have been closed. The parties cautiously survey the surroundings and Teelia’s player starts an old-school D&D pencil map on grid paper!

The party walk around to the east wall and look through the holes in the wall whereupon they see a group of about ten Kobolds standing just inside the main gateway. At that point the players succumbed to weariness in real life and we decided to continue the encounter the next day.

Having come back to it the next day, the party decides to pass along the south wall to a 10 foot gap leading into the large courtyard, unslinging their longbow and crossbow in the process. Elric and Teelia decide to move and fire, using the fallen boulders and columns in the courtyard for partial cover and closing in on the Kobolds, who are approximately 100 feet away. Norri, who has no missile weapons trails after them, trying to remain inconspicuous.

The kobolds, under full cover, are difficult to hit and over rounds two to four Elric manages to hit a Kobold twice, killing it. Only nine to go! Worse, Elric takes a hit from a Kobold shortbow losing a couple of hit points.

In round 5 the party have closed to within 20 feet and the Kobolds drop their shortbows and attack with short-swords. The melee combat suits the party but they have a number of bad rolls. Teelia takes a hit from a short-sword and Norri is hit more than once going dangerously down to 1 hit point. It takes rounds five to nine to resolve the melee combat and to finish off the remaining eight Kobolds. The party proceeds to loot the bodies and picks up some copper pieces.

At that point, the party wisely decide to withdraw back to Threshold to recuperate, intending to nurse their wounds and come back. The session comes to a close as the party trudges back to Threshold with some money jingling in their pocket. Hmm, I’ll suggest they might wish to invest in some plate-mail at this stage.

My youngest player, playing Elric, at this point threw a curve-ball and said he wanted his teddy Simba to have a role in the game and to have a character as Elric’s “pet”. The serious gamer within the DM was ,of course, slightly appalled, but the Daddy won out and agreed. The DM has actually created a character sheet for “Simba” and his profile can be seen here as well!

Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.